Why Therapy Is Worth Every Minute and Dollar
Recently, I put a query on a parenting forum group I’m part of here in Colorado. I asked, ‘Do you do Therapy? Why or why not’ The responses were what I expected: Yes, and it has been so valuable to my well-being. I’m so much less anxious. Or, yes! It has made me more successful across my life and more able to enjoy what I’ve achieved. I’m so thankful for therapy.
This got me thinking about why people who have the financial means, don’t take advantage of counseling? I realize that not many people talk about their transformations from therapy. They are so deeply personal by definition that the average person may never hear direct stories of anyone making meaningful change by way of therapy. We don’t see google reviews speaking to the integration of trauma or transforming anxiety into power or their depression diminishing. The thing is that is what is happening as the rule, not the exception therapy.
Think about this…
Therapy wouldn’t survive as a job if it weren’t effective. Therapists do this work because along with all the unimaginably painful parts we witness, we also see people do things that seemed previously impossible. They do this for themselves, their children, and their relationships. People ask how we can listen to all the hard things people are carrying around. Because, what most people don’t know, is that on the other side of all of that suffering is power, freedom, and alchemy. Alchemy because in most cases people take something ugly and neutralize it. Or, even transform it completely.
How I know as a Therapist, That Counseling Works
Here’s what you all don’t hear and most therapists won’t talk about as a matter of professionalism. People change. You can change. You do change. And, you can be happier. Or, less anxious. And, generally, more fulfilled in your marriage or your career. It’s a real thing. It is not something that happens in 3 sessions in most cases. But, it does happen. And once it happens, it is generally long-lasting.
A long-lasting positive change from counseling constitutes an enormous return on investment. Think about it. What else can you do for six months or a year that will clearly and broadly have a positive impact on many aspects of your life FOREVER?
Really good therapy physically changes your brain
It is true. Major reliable cognitive or habit changes only happen when the neural pathways that supported the old behavior diminish. And, alternative pathways are strengthened. What would you give to make your brain better for the rest of your life?
Therapists regularly get personal emails and direct comments in session from people sincerely thanking them for the part they’ve played in helping their clients make huge impactful or life changes. We know that they are not exaggerating. How? Because we are there with them as they carve out the steps for themselves to make a life. A life that is more satisfying or less stressful. And, a life that is no longer driven by old trauma.
What does the impact of therapy look like in real life?
So to help you see what we see and understand the magnitude of potential in counseling, I’ve taken the time to share with you some real stories of change. And, profound return on investment that we have seen at North Boulder Counseling. These stories are abbreviated and anonymous, but all real. For each one listed here, there are countless others.
Mom went to therapy and gained the skills necessary to be able to look at her parental relationship and see it for what it was without getting hung up on it. She also did some therapy about her uncertainties as a parent and left feeling like her mama gut was trustworthy. And, that her love was enough. Lastly, she was able to reconcile what she had given up in order to provide the best life for her children with experiencing her life as her own more often.
This mom wrote an email out of nowhere months after she’d stopped coming here, are some quotes (with her permission):
“As I woke up this morning I found myself so grateful for the work we have done together and for the peaceful place I’m in while all of this craziness is swirling about…So I just wanted to say thank you for all of your insightful words and work….”- client quote
Parent’s and children
This family came in originally with a child newly diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. They didn’t know much about the diagnosis. But, they were coming in because their elementary-aged child had begun threatening suicide. We were able to help them determine their true risk level. And gave both the parents and the child tools to help the child communicate their struggles more effectively. We also provided community referrals to get the child other support. Using play therapy the child that struggled to organize emotions linearly was able to communicate with the therapist their experience. Thus, they could be understood in a new way.
They have referred countless other families as well as thanking the therapist regularly. You can’t put a price on your child’s well-being or the custom parenting plans that you create with your therapist. So, why wait to get the help you need?
Disordered Eating and Body Dysmorphia
After focusing on a history of trauma this client had made significant gains. Then, in one session, they had the epiphany that they would not have an eating disorder forever. Before that moment, they had deeply identified with the experience of their painful relationship to food and their body. They had made so many gains in integrating their history of trauma that other parts of their life began shifting with little to no effort. Shortly after, they were ready to finish therapy. And, left by giving their therapist a huge hug and sharing their deep gratitude for the possibilities that were now open to them in their life as a result of the time they had spent in therapy.
“Our capacity for change makes sense. What is never static, that’s just biology.” – Gen Morley
Men have trauma too. A deeply anxious and depressed, although outwardly successful man, used therapy to fight for his life. Or, at least one that felt worth living to him. Through the process of his work in therapy, he slowly began to communicate with loved ones. And, see what was worth living for to him in his life. He even changed where he lived and began to question some of the abusive thought patterns in his mind. He is not a different man or even in a different career. But, he reports less anxiety, less depression, and an increased sense of meaning and purpose in his life.
Recently, we had a client that did some work on their own that afforded them clarity about what they wanted. So, they decided to come out to their family in a family session. Because they had the support of the therapist they felt safe.
Even though they did not receive the support they wanted from their whole family, and things we’re said that we’re hurtful. They were brave enough to have this tough but productive conversation that afforded the whole family the ability to feel closer than before. This is the benefit of working with our LGBTQIA+ affirming and supportive therapists.
Are you still wondering why therapy is important?
What would you pay in time or money to gain the tools necessary to move forward in your life? Or, be given the tools necessary to seamlessly integrate your traumatic memories and experiences into your perception that they were part of the fabric of your life rather than sharp outliers?
Do you know what investing in therapy is becoming normalized? It used to be that counseling was for broken people or deeply troubled people. But, it’s not the case anymore. Therapy is for people who want the most out of their life. It is for people who know there’s always a way forward. And, that find the way forward is faster with someone who does that for living. Any entrepreneur will tell you the fastest way to level up is to get a mentor or coach. Someone who has already done what you’re trying to do. Don’t reinvent the wheel.
Your therapist can help you do this
Your therapist won’t have had the same life experiences and they won’t have done everything you are trying to do themselves. But, an experienced therapist has seen a lot. Their education is helpful.
If you’re worried about your therapist judging you, don’t be. Just remember how many things they have heard. And, how many problems they have helped clients find ways through.
Will therapy work for you?
Yes, your specific situation is likely not the exact one described above. Maybe it’s nothing like those. At the end of the day, you have a human brain and a human heart. If you find the right therapist and your progress is inevitable.
How do you find the right therapist you may ask? Call more than one person. Talk to them. Find someone who you are comfortable talking to and who seems kind and assertive, will have your back.
For all the Yeah Buts:
I don’t have time: online therapy cuts the time crunch. But, in the end, you will have to make it a priority. I cut out of work for therapy. Some counselors offer evening or weekend appointments. This is your well-being. There’s not much that’s more important.
I don’t know how to find a therapist: Google therapists in your area. Contact three. Go with the one that’s easiest to talk to.
I don’t know if it’ll work for me: It will. You will succeed as long as you don’t give up on therapy.
I don’t want to spend the money: Your call. It’s hard to think of anything that has anywhere near the return on investment that therapy does. Or, is as important. I know, shoes are great. But therapy will never give you blisters or wear out.
It’s time to start therapy in Boulder, CO.
I truly believe in therapy, so I wrote this blog. That being said, I just want you to go to therapy. So, see whatever therapist makes sense, but go. It’s a kind and wise move for yourself and everyone you will ever love. And while you’re doing some searching, see if North Boulder Counseling is a good fit! We provide high-quality services to individuals, couples, and families navigating a variety of experiences. Our therapists are incredibly skilled and have extensive training. They have helped many people. And, they can help you, too. When you’re ready to begin therapy in Boulder, CO, follow these steps:
- Contact our group practice.
- Request an appointment to learn more about our approach to therapy.
- Invest in yourself and your future.